Marriage Advice for Loving for the Long Haul

A moving column was recently printed in our city’s newspaper.

The story was about an elderly man whose wife passed on 6 months ago.The man, a prominent minister, was grappling with not only grief from losing his wife of 57 years, but also regret because he felt so busy and caught up with other things over the course of their relationship, he didn’t love his wife the way he wished he would have.

It’s not that he had affairs, yelled at her, or put her down. No, he told the writer that his wife loved him “to pieces” and he didn’t meet that intensity in the love he returned to her.

The man seems to indicate that he wishes he’d loved his wife with abandon– a no holding back kind of love where you truly give your all to the relationship.

We’re wondering how many of us really love with abandon?

Probably nobody wants to get to a point where the love of your life has passed on and you are left regretting that you didn’t love him or her the way you wish you had. The subject of this column– the grieving minister– is now giving sermons and writing about love and what he’s learned observing children.

According to this man, children can teach us how to love in an “unfettered” way.

If you’ve ever been greeted with an exuberant hug and kiss on the cheek from a child, you know what we mean here. The love that is offered is full on, as if nothing is more important to the child at that very moment than showing you how happy he or she is to see you.

Of course, that same child may very soon move on to a favorite toy, pet or game, but in that moment of greeting, you are graced with the unfettered love mentioned by the minister.

Find ways to return to love.

Now, as adults, we usually have quite complicated lives in which many people and things tug at our attentions. We have
responsibilities to attend to, money to make, bills to pay, people to please, and so on. All of this can put showing love– especially love with abandon– pretty far down on the

When you are feeling relatively calm and tuned in to the love you feel for your partner, make a list of the activities or things that symbolize or trigger those warm and gushy love feelings for you. It might be a special song or a specific place that are significant to you and mate.

Perhaps it’s something about the way he or she looks or an endearing aspect of your partner. It could be a poem or even words you’ve spoken to one another. Make as long a list as you can of all of the things that remind you of how and why you love this beautiful being.

Once a day, take a look at the list and for just a few seconds focus in on one of the listed items. Allow yourself to tap into the feelings that emerge and then go connect with your partner.

It doesn’t have to be more than a heart-ful embrace or a passionate kiss on your way out the door.

What’s most important is that for those moments of connection you are full on, sharing your passionate love with this treasure in your life.

Appreciate and celebrate the right now.

Sometimes when people think about romantic, passionate love, they get stressed out. There can be fears of not living up to what you think your partner’s expectations are. Or it may be your own expectations about how you “should” show your love are beyond your current budget or other factors that seem to limit you.

We’re here to tell you that you don’t need to shower your partner with expensive diamonds, elaborate weekends away or even pricey flower bouquets and gourmet chocolate.

There’s nothing wrong with any of these gifts and they can be part of expressions of love. But you can actually share love with abandon with your mate when it’s just the two of you.

You two can be sitting together on the couch doing absolutely nothing and in that seemingly common moment, an amazing connection can occur.

But only if you stay awake and open to receiving your partner’s offered love and willing to love full on as well. Make it your practice to catch the one you love doing things that you appreciate and that spark passion within you.

Even if for just a few seconds, reflect those pleasurable feelings back to him or her and celebrate your love.

It’s all about how you spend your moments.

Yes, there’s the job, the kids, the house, the stock market– all of life swirling around you. But when you regularly and often come back to the passionate love you share with your partner, you both end up feeling enriched.

And when you love with abandon like this– even if just for moments at a time– you are less likely to feel regret. Instead, you are more likely to know you shared the greatest love of all. And this assertion is available and possible for us all.

You’ll find more tips about how to keep your relationship close, connected and alive at


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